Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment in hearing health practices has always been important, but these days practicing good hygiene is even more crucial. Everything we touch is being sanitized and disinfected. At my local grocery store, the shopping carts are being wiped down after every use, and the staff at a local take-out restaurant cleans the door handle every few minutes. People are wearing face coverings when out in public, and we're all being encouraged to wash our hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently throughout the day.
But if I need my ears scanned, what sanitation procedures should I expect?Fortunately, the Lantos 3D Ear Scanning System is is easy to keep clean and hygienic. The risk of it transmitting germs or illness is very low for several reasons, as long as providers follow these easy simple steps between every patient use or as needed.
- Make a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% purified water
- Apply the solution to a soft, non-abrasive cloth until damp, but not dripping
- Thoroughly wipe down the scanner, the cradle on which the scanner rests, and the cables
- Dry each component with another clean, soft, non-abrasive cloth
The actual scanning procedure is safe as well. As always, practicing good hand hygiene before and after the procedure is strongly encouraged. Gloves and protective facial coverings can be worn by both the scan user and scannee, for added safety. The membrane that goes into the scannee's ear is disposable and should be discarded after use. The disposable lint-free cloths used for fog control can be used to manipulate the membrane between ears to keep hands or gloves clean.
Wearing hearing instruments and face masks
One a risk when wearing a mask and a receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) style hearing instrument is that the device can fall off of the ear when the mask is removed. However, there are things to help hold your hearing instrument in place. Using wig or toupee tape will help keep the device secure on your head. If you wear glasses, you can use a small rubber loop to attach the receiver wire to your glasses.
There are also clips that can attach to your shirt with a loop to place around the hearing aid so that if it falls off of your ear, it is still attached to you. Your hearing healthcare provider (HHP) may have these supplies in stock or you can order them online. You can also try using a mask that ties instead of attaches behind the ears. There are now bands that go behind the head and attach to the mask, which keep the ear loops away from the hearing aids. You can even make your own by sewing buttons onto a headband.
If you do lose a device, many hearing aid manufacturers have a feature in their apps that can help you locate the missing hearing aid. If you have a custom device that cannot be found and have a scan on file, a call to your HHP may be all that is needed to order a replacement.
If you have any questions about cleanliness or hygiene, the Lantos Team is working (remotely) and available for you. Feel free to contact us! We hope that all of you stay healthy and safe!